The guardian of the rice terraces. Philippines. Oil on canvas. 81X70 cm.
Painted during my third chemo cycle. During its creation I went back to many years ago, when I used to live and travel through Southeast Asia. This was up north in the Filippines, en Ilocos, in the Sagada province, in a village called Banaue, where I stayed in the San Joseph´s Convent, not just as another one of the many backpackers from all over the planet that were in those days in the area, but as the only Spanish lady amongs all of them. This man was Dionisio, a native Ifugao, that used to hang around the incredible maze that was composed by hundreds of pathways crossing up and down the rice terraces, dressed up with his traditional outfit and his hunting weapon.
He was a proud man and diddn´t like to have his photo taken, but during the four months that I spend there in 1987, helping out in an agricultural project with the local volunteers from the UNV.whom I have meet during my long days in the South Pacific islands, I got lost many times through the laberynth of terraces, and he was the one who allways appeared from nowhere and put me in the right track, and we managed to create a funny friendship between us, and the background behind him is my own interpretation of those terraces.
Now, at these harsh moments in the country, I can not forget him, and Cielito Alinea, Flor Aguilar, among many others, and I pray to God that they remain healthy with their families, and I hope that this brilliant green from their terraces, will bring them as much peace in their souls as id did to mine in those hard months of treatment in 2011.
@Copyright Lola Orcha Soler